Student Voices {Support Public Higher Education}

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Ronald's Voice


How have increased tuition fees impacted you and your family?:
My last semester at SFSU was in the Spring of 2005. I had finished all of my Engineering courses that allowed me to take the California test to get my EIT (Engineering in Training) certificate. Unfortunately, I needed one last course, English 414, in order to get my SFSU diploma. Prior to the semester finishing up I was able to get an interview and subsequent job offer with the largest Construction Management company in the USA with a satellite office in the Bay Area. Inevitably, my question was whether to accept the job offer or come back for one semester to finish my last class which would mean losing almost half a year's salary. The decision was easy. Knowing the tuition would go up 10% the following semester and having an opportunity to start making $53K a year forced me to delay fulfilling my life dream of obtaining an Engineering diploma. While at SFSU I had been working 20 hours a week while taking a minimum of 12 units a semester. In order to minimize my expenses I lived in the East Bay to pay less in rent but that also meant I had more traveling expenses. I would travel approximately 60 miles a day roundtrip, pay a bridge toll every day along with the car maintenance that came with putting so much miles during the semester. The college expenses and never ending monthly bills seemed insurmountable for me while working only 20 hours a week for $15 an hour. I was devastated when I was put into the corner of making good money or barely making it every month for another semester. I am back at SFSU trying to fulfill my dream by taking English 414 after working full time for the last six and a half years. I have been able to travel, purchased a home and got married. This came with a cost as I constantly thought of been so close of fulfilling my dream and yet not been able to realize it. I feel for the students who are faced with my same expenses but paying twice as much as when I was here full time. The rising tuition costs are delaying college dreams or for some, it may have extinguished it.


What are you studying at SF State and what do you hope to do once you graduate?:
I am finishing up my Mechanical Engineering degree and I hope to continue working in the engineering field so I can one day get my Professional Engineering degree.


Ronald M., 30 Guatemal City, Guatemala



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